Basic Single Pie Crust

Makes one single 9" crust.


6 Tbsp. cold butter
1 cup all purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
2-3 tablespoons very cold water


Mix the flour and salt together. Cut the butter into 4 pieces and add to the flour. With a fork or pastry blender, cut the butter into the flour until it resembles coarse cornmeal. Add 2 tablespoons of cold water and stir gently until the dough sticks together; add up to an extra tablespoon of water if needed. Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured pastry cloth (a clean pillow case is a good substitute). Roll the dough out very gently into a circle 2-1/2" bigger than the top of the pie plate you're using; if there are any tears, use a bit of dough from the edge to patch it. Work with care; you don't want to roll out the crust more than once, since every handling toughens it.

Put the pie plate face down on the dough and cut around it 2" away from the rim. (this isn't nuclear physics; close enough is fine.) Turn the pie plate right side up and take all the trimmings off the cloth. Use the cloth to fold the pie crust into quarters. Pick up the quarter circle of pie crust and put it in the pie plate with the point at the center of the plate; unfold. Carefully press the crust into the pan; you may have to make a little fold to get it to fit perfectly. With a sharp knife, trim the edge of the crust to fit. Bake according to your pie recipe.